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Whatever happened to Ajantha Mendis’ off spinner?


Have you noticed the the lack of off spin deliveries in Ajantha Mendis’ bowling these days?

The ‘Carrom Ball’ was once a potent weapon owing to the batsman’s inability to determine if Mendis would spin it in to them, or move it away. It was that element of uncertainty that made Mendis what he is today. Why then would he unravel that mystery? Why has the coach and the seniors in the team not approached him with the observation? Have they not noticed?

Since the Asia Cup final in 2008, where he destroyed India’s batting, and later where he broke Bedser’s record against the same formidable batting line up, the off spin delivery has gradually been replaced from his armoury with a less mysterious Googly.

Does Sri Lanka Cricket have a video analyst on board? If they do, I doubt anyone has bothered analysing Mendis’ gradual disintegration.

In my possession I have ball-by-ball footage of the entire Asia Cup 2008 Final, India’s 2008 Test tour to Sri Lanka, and more recent matches where Mendis has been less effective. After pouring over the videos several times over, the change in his bowling is obvious to me.

In Sri Lanka’s next match, if Ajantha Mendis plays, make a note of how many off spin deliveries he bowls these days. You’ll be lucky to see even one.

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